–The program expands in 2021 to prioritize applications from farmers of color in Georgia and Florida as well as the original round’s focus on North Carolina, South Carolina, and Virginia–
–Applications will also be considered from farmers of color from other states in the Southeast U.S.–
[Pittsboro, NC, January 14, 2020] – Rural Advancement Foundation International-USA (RAFI-USA) is pleased to announce the second round of grants from its Farmers of Color Network Infrastructure Fund. The program provides grants of up to $10,000 to farmers for projects to increase farm viability, support farmers’ local food economies, and preserve traditional farming practices. This project is funded in part by a three-year grant of $675,000 to support the Farmers of Color Network from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, as well as funding from The Fund to Build Grassroots Power at Windward Fund, the Seeds, Soul and Culture Fund/New Field Foundation, and a grant from an anonymous donor-advised fund at The Chicago Community Foundation
RAFI-USA Executive Director Edna Rodriguez said, “We are pleased that we are able to expand the states we will serve in 2021, thanks to an incredibly generous and growing group of funders. Farmers of color make up just 4% of all farmers; the Farmers of Color Network seeks to grow that number by investing in the creativity and innovation of traditionally underserved farmer communities.”
RAFI-USA launched the Farmers of Color Network in 2017 to assist farmers in accessing farm infrastructure resources, securing land and other assets, supporting farmer-to-farmer learning, and providing technical support. The Infrastructure Fund builds on the success of previous RAFI-USA regranting programs and focuses exclusively on farmers of color in several Southern states.
The geographic priorities in 2021 include the states of North Carolina, Virginia, South Carolina, Georgia, and Florida, but applications from across the Southeastern region will also be considered. Some examples of projects supported by the 2020 Farmers of Color Network Infrastructure Fund include conversion of existing infrastructure into new innovative uses; infrastructure purchases to expand scale of operation; rotational grazing; mobile refrigeration and refrigeration for expanded on-farm processing; season extension infrastructure; cooperative projects in which two or more farmers collaborate around a specific product and/or market; as well as cultural/heritage projects which are focused on preserving and continuing a specific agrarian tradition.
Interested farmers of color must apply using an Online Application. The deadline for applying is Friday, February 12 at 6:00 p.m. and grant awardees will be announced in late-March.
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RAFI-USA challenges the root causes of unjust food systems, supporting and advocating for economically, racially, and ecologically just farm communities. We envision a thriving, sustainable, and equitable food system: where farmers and farmworkers have dignity and agency; where they are supported by just agricultural policies; where corporations and institutions are accountable to their community. RAFI-USA is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization based in Pittsboro, North Carolina, and incorporated in 1990.
The W.K. Kellogg Foundation (WKKF), founded in 1930 as an independent, private foundation by breakfast cereal innovator and entrepreneur Will Keith Kellogg, is among the largest philanthropic foundations in the United States. Guided by the belief that all children should have an equal opportunity to thrive, WKKF works with communities to create conditions for vulnerable children so they can realize their full potential in school, work, and life.
The Kellogg Foundation is based in Battle Creek, Michigan, and works throughout the United States and internationally, as well as with sovereign tribes. Special attention is paid to priority places where there are high concentrations of poverty and where children face significant barriers to success. WKKF priority places in the U.S. are in Michigan, Mississippi, New Mexico, and New Orleans; and internationally, are in Mexico and Haiti. For more information, visit www.wkkf.org.